City to replace Columbia Street parking deck

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff
Posted March 24, 2009, at 9:28 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The city has awarded a design-build contract to Cianbro Corp. for replacement of an 80-space parking deck downtown.

Construction of a new lot at the intersection of Hammond and Columbia streets is not expected to begin until later this year, but Bangor city councilors voted Monday to move the $1.3 million project forward.

“We hope to get his under way as soon as possible,” City Manager Edward Barrett said Tuesday. “It’s still in the design and permitting process, but we want to have things well under way this summer.”

Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield, one of Maine’s largest general contracting firms, will work with the Boston-based design firm Capobianco & Associates on the project.

When construction begins, the city will have to shut the entire lot down, creating a shortage of 80 spaces in a prime downtown location.

Parke Clemons, general manager of Republic Parking, which manages all of the city’s parking areas, agreed that the shutdown will be an inconvenience for some, but he said there still will be plenty of spaces downtown. Fifty spaces have been converted for public use behind the old Bangor police station on Court Street, and at least 80 spaces are available daily in the Pickering Square Parking Garage, Clemons said.

“There is no dire concern,” he said. “This is something we’ve be planning for a couple years.”

The parking deck at Columbia and Hammond streets is nearly 40 years old and is in rough shape, physically and aesthetically. Support columns were added in 2005 to help prolong its life, but that was a temporary measure, Clemons said. In 2007, the city considered repairing the parking area further but decided that replacing it altogether was the better move.

By awarding a design-build contract — and avoiding the traditional bidding process — Barrett said the city will be able to move faster and with more efficiency during the project.

“This process brings everyone together at the beginning to work through the project,” the city manager said. “We did this with our new fire station [on Griffin Road] and were pleased with that process.”

Added Clemons: “This is the first time I’ve had experience with this, but it does sound like a good process.”

Clemons said if everything stays on schedule, the project will be completed by Nov. 1. Actual construction probably will not take place until late summer, he said, which will require shutting down the lot for an estimated 12 to 16 weeks.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/03/24/news/bangor/city-to-replace-columbia-street-parking-deck/ printed on September 16, 2014